I worked hard during my marriage until I started having children. I made decent money, but my husband and I decided I would stay at home to take care of the children. It worked okay until we decided to sell the large house we lived in when the housing market was still a little strong and move our three children into a tiny temporary rental apartment until the housing market dropped enough for us to get the best deal on a new house. The rental was a very frustrating place to live because it was so small and I had a new baby and two other little ones.
I wanted so much to be a homemaker but found it impossible when we were only staying for a few months. We ended up renting much longer than anticipated because my husband refused to commit to buying a new home. We had the money, but the market was still dropping and he wanted to wait for the best deal. When he got home from work, I had to get out from the crying children and the home I hated. And since we weren't having sex, though I'm still not sure why, I would go out and play golf or bowl in a mixed league while my husband stayed home and watched television and surfed the Internet.
After spending so much time together with another man in these leagues, trouble just happened. We connected and he made me feel so desirable, beautiful, and sexy. I didn't leave my husband for another man, and I didn't have sex with the other man until later. I left my husband because another man made me feel something that was so lacking in my marriage that I couldn't bear the thought of going back to it and never feeling that way again. I would rather be alone and have the chance to feel that way than be trapped in a marriage to a person I know I'm never going to feel passionate about. I still see this man, but have dated other men as well.
Jane's story, like most I heard, spoke to the fact that women who have remained faithful or have cheated are quite dissatisfied in both their emotional and sexual lives at home. Many suffer quietly, feeling stuck and unable to make things better. There is a collective desperation to their tone, but this desperation can be resolved quickly with the information this book is about to explore.
Women Want More Time with Their Men
For the women who participated in my research, the number one emotional issue was not having enough time with their husbands, but feeling underappreciated followed closely behind. Lisa’s and Tom’s stories are similar to many stories I heard during my study: Simply not spending time with your spouse will often have a severely negative impact.
Lisa's Story: Time May Not Be on My Side
When our kids were small and I complained to my husband that we never spent time alone together, he'd always say that we'd have plenty of time for that when our kids were grown and out of the house. It was as though I was the bad one for even asking that we go out alone or take a vacation without the kids. Naturally, I didn't want to get away from my kids. I was a good mom. But his mom lived down the street and was more than willing to help us out. He just never wanted it.
That was my life for years. We both worked and came home and it was all about the kids. We had some sex just because we needed it, but that was something else we'd be able to do plenty when the kids were gone. It was like I was expected to wait about 25 years for time with my husband. I became like a sister to the nanny, to the point that I even took some trips with her and left my husband home with the kids and his mother. I probably would have just continued, but God showed me a different plan. At 41, I was diagnosed with breast cancer that had spread to the lymph nodes. Suddenly, waiting for a future time seemed stupid and I was mad at my husband. He probably got more anger than he deserved, but I promised myself that if I got through it, I wouldn't beg my husband for his time anymore.
By chance I ran into an old college friend, and when we had dinner, I was astounded at how good it felt to actually be having time and attention from a man. We were practically strangers, so I was astonished that he was giving me a lot more in one meeting than my husband had for 20 years. It wasn't long before I just told him everything and he was there for me. We got sexually involved within a few months. I couldn't believe he could find me interesting and attractive with everything I was going through. My husband doesn't know, and frankly, my life is too complicated to change anything. At least through this horrible experience, I'm receiving some love I sorely miss, and I'm holding on to it until I'm stronger.